6th AFDD Summit Pre-Conference Workshops

Wednesday, November 9

Workshop A:
Diving Into Cancer Fibrosis to Harness & Apply Learnings to Other Fibrotic Indications

8am - 10.30am

Leverage and gain knowledge from cancer and apply this to your fibrotic  research and therapeutic development. Illuminating the parallels between cancers and fibrosis, this is your opportunity to deepen your understanding and take forward the discussions to your team in this interactive deep dive session.

A snapshot of workshop highlights:

  • Explore the relationships between inflammation, fibrosis and cancer
  • Uncover how to better understand fibroblast heterogeneity in diseased tissues such as cancer or fibrosis
  • Question the involvement of fibrosis in the tumour microenvironment
  • Discover how to harness cell therapies as an approach to fibrosis
  • Highlight the new approaches in cancer fibrosis
  • Discuss whether we can view fibrosis as a cancer And how this translates to other fibrotic indications
  • Consider how to harness organoid models for fibrotic drug development

Workshop Leaders:


Akshay Krishnamurty
Senior Scientist,
Cancer Immunology


Andrew Leask
University of Saskatchewan

Workshop B:
Tuning Into Repair & Regeneration in Fibrotic Drug Development


Repairing and regenerating tissue is a hot topic in the field of fibrosis – are  you a repair and regeneration enthusiast or do you still have suspicions? Immerse yourself in the world of repair and regeneration as the future of fibrotic drug development to uncover the latest thinking in the basic science, the translational challenges, and to illuminate the possibilities of a repair and regeneration therapeutic in humans.

A snapshot of workshop highlights:

  •  Highlighting stromal progenitors and their role in tissue regeneration and repair
  • Illuminating strategies to enhance tissue repair and/or resolution as a treatment for fibrosis
  • Exploring the role and/or recruitment of “normal” stromal progenitors in fibrosis and contribution to disease progression
  • Discussing the point in which the repair and regeneration cells change epigenetics and genetics to respond to an injury stimulus to understand these interactions
  • Looking to the normal repairing plasticity of fibroblasts to illuminate the pathological processes of fibrosis
  • Considering dosing the compounds to highlight the challenges between short term interventions and chronic term interventions
  • Delving into repair and regeneration processes to discuss mitigating against tumor growth as an adverse effect
  • Navigating senescence as potential mechanism in repair and regeneration
  • Examining repair and regeneration cross-disease, cross-organ and cross discipline – is repair and regeneration the way to go for all fibrotic drug development?

Workshop Leaders:


Michael Underhill
University of British Columbia


Elizabeth Redente
Associate Professor
National Jewish Health


Karim El Kasmi
Senior Principal Scientist
Boehringer Ingelheim

Workshop C:
Beating Cardiac Specific Fibrosis: Uncovering the Latest Research to Treat the Fibrosis

2.30pm - 5pm

Don’t miss a beat - hear the latest research on cardiac specific fibrosis and novel ideas to treat the fibrotic indications rather than the underlying condition. Intrigued by the heart? Come away with your questions answered and your curiosity satisfied, join the conversation with cardiac fibrosis KOLs and industry experts at this interactive workshop.

A snapshot of workshop highlights:

  •  Discussing cellular mechanisms and fibrotic pathways in the heart
  • Highlighting the role of fibroblasts and myofibroblasts as the central cellular effectors in cardiac fibrosis
  • Using novel therapies in vivo to reduce fibrosis
  • Repurposing FDA-approved pan-fibrosis antifibrotic agent/s to combat adverse fibrotic remodelling of disease hearts
  • Navigating mechano-adaptive targets for controlling fibrosis postinfarction
  • Discussing interactions between biomechanical and biochemical signalling pathways
  • Therapy screening using in silico and in vitro approaches
  • Illuminating potential challenges of combinatory drug therapies
  • Highlighting the role of fibroblasts and myofibroblasts as the central cellular effectors in cardiac fibrosis

Haig Aghajanian
Co-Founder & Vice President – Research
Capstan Therapeutics


Hind Lal
Associate Professor
University of Alabama at Birmingham


Will Richardson
Associate Professor
University of Arkansas